Thanksgiving travelers should be ready for wet roads
Drivers will have to deal with scattered showers in the lowlands and snow in the mountain passes on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Traction tires are advised on Highway 2 at Stevens Pass, both east and westbound. There is compact snow and ice on the roadway and it is currently snowing (UPDATED at 2:02 p.m.)
Traction tires are advised on I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, both east and westbound. The roadway is wet and bare with patches of snow and slush. It’s currently snowing (UPDATED at 2:02 p.m.)
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until 10 p.m. Check conditions and cameras at mountain passes before you go.
Forecasters say the snow will pick up again in the afternoon. Snow levels are at 3,000 feet, but dropping to 2,500 feet into the afternoon and evening. Accumulations should be about 3-8 inches.
In the lowlands, you might see thunder and lightning Wednesday afternoon. KING-5 Meteorologist Rich Marriott says some of the showers Wednesday may be heavy, but brief.
If the Thursday forecast is correct, Northwest residents are likely to get a break on Thanksgiving.
“I would say about 90 percent of our models are showing Thanksgiving Day will really not be a bad day at all,” said forecaster Jay Albrecht at the National Weather Service office in Seattle. Skies should be mostly clear, and there might even be a patch of blue.
After travelers enjoy the Thanksgiving break in the weather, another front Friday is expected to bring more precipitation and the threat of rain and snow showers through the Thanksgiving weekend.
Because of another mudslide Wednesday morning, Sounder service is canceled for Friday, Nov. 23. Barring any additional slide activity, regular Northline Sounder service is expected to resume on Monday, Nov. 26.
More than 15 mudslides along rail tracks from Seattle to Everett stopped Sounder service on Monday.
Also closed for the season is SR 20/North Cascades Highway. Nearly two feet of new snow and several snowslides, coupled with a weather forecast calling for more snow through the weekend, prompted the closure of the cross-state highway.
The increase in holiday traffic, outside of the weather, will also be a challenge for travelers.
Washington State Ferries are warning travelers to plan ahead for heavy traffic. They say the longest lines are expected heading westbound Wednesday afternoon and evening. Some routes will be on holiday schedule Thursday. Heavy traffic is also expected heading eastbound on Friday morning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.